Alex’s Take: The Hottest 100

Dear Diary, 

It’s that time of year again, the days are warmer, I’m 13% happier, on average, and the Triple J Hottest 100 poll has opened. 
I always put a lot of thought into my Hottest 100 votes. I like to remember key moments from the year passed, how songs made me feel, and if they’ve stood the test of time. 
I’ve done my votes early, I’ve done them late. I did them from Italy, one year. This will be the second year that me and my best mate Lockie have broken tradition and not listened to the Hottest together since 2013, which is upsetting. 

I have a few limitations I put on myself during the stressful week that is organising my Hottest 100 votes, mainly to ease the chaos that I feel when I’m looking at an 80 song “shortlist”. You guys don’t have to follow these rules, but if you do find the task daunting, you’re more than welcome to use them. 

My Personal Rules:

  • No more than 1 song by each artist. If I have 2 faves, I have to choose the best one from that artist and stick with it. There’s only 10 spots, and I need to include everyone I loved that year.
  • If I can’t sing the song right away in my head, it doesn’t make the cut. If I have to listen to the snippet of the track before I go “Oh yeah! That song!” we do not have a deal. 
  • Only 1 Like A Version (LAV). And I usually do include one, because they’re creative and clever, and they deserve it. The first year I voted, it was Do I Wanna Know by The Arctic Monkeys covered by CHVRCHES, and ever since I have chosen one to make the list. 
  • Vote for things that are on the shortlist. Don’t input stuff yourself, you’re basically throwing away a vote. 
  • I also try to keep the male/ female ratio even, and if I need to choose between an Aussie or International act, I’ll pick the Aussie. These two guidelines just makes it a bit easier when it comes down to the wire on some songs. 

So, what did I vote for, you ask? Look no further, here it is:

The Breakdown: 

Angie McMahon – Soon
This song. Oh my word. It makes me feel things. 
The first time I heard it was when she opened for Alanis Morisette at the Palais. I had gotten last minute tickets for mum and I, and there, in Row Q, I was first *properly* introduced to Angie McMahon. I had tears in my eyes when I first heard this song, which is always a good sign. Ever since, I waited for her to release it, and watched as her next two singles, Missing Me and Pasta, were released. Finally, in July, we got Salt, and with it, Soon. I had it on repeat. This also got my vote as top song of the year. 

Baker Boy – Cool As Hell
What can I say, I just really like this song. I also love In Control, which almost made my top 10, but I decided on the most popular of the two in the hopes that my vote gives it another boost to the top. I love that he raps in English and in the traditional Yolngu Matha language. I love the fact that he has broken through to the mainstream and is spreading such an important message to young Australians everywhere. This is why music is important and why I included Baker Boy in my Top 10

Cub Sport – Party Pill
HUGE call between this one and their Billie Eilish LAV because, chills. But I chose this one. I love this band and the way they write music, and every time this song came on the radio I smiled. I’ve backed Cub Sport for a while now, my first vote for them was in 2016, with Come On Mess Me Up. 

Dermot Kennedy – Lost
Shocked that Lost was the only track on the shortlist by Dermot Kennedy, as I personally think there were a few contenders. Lost isn’t even in his top Spotify tracks. But I saw Dermy live at the Croxton band room this year, and it was an amazing night. I love his voice, his lyrics and how humble he seems. Definitely makes my list. 

GRAACE – Complicated (LAV)
I turned the radio on right when this one was starting, and ooooft. Chills. GRAACE really took a well known song and completely changed it around, made it her own. And she nailed it. This song is reminiscent of my childhood, so there’s lots of good memories there, and I also have heaps of respect for people who do their own take on the classics. 

Hein Cooper – Like That
This is another one I turned the radio on halfway through, he was playing it live on JJJ before his LAV. I then saw him at the Northcote Social Club and it was one of my favourite shows of the year. I went by myself, which was a first for me, but I wasn’t alone for long, because I met my wonderful friend/ photographer Brittany on that very night! 
Hein Cooper’s voice is absolutely incredible, and I love the lyricism of Like That.

SAFIA – Runaway 
Everyone else went for Resolution, but I went for Runaway and I STAND BY THAT CHOICE. Listen to it. Just. UGH. 

Sofi Tukker – Purple Hat
Every single time this song comes on it pumps me up. Every time. 

Thandi Phoenix – Cleopatra
Here’s another song that improves my mood, an anthem for empowerment if you will. “If you wanna waste my time,you should go and step back in line” is the biggest mood of 2019, and the drop in this track gets me grooving every time. 

Thelma Plum – Better In Black 
I knew I needed a Thelma Plum track on my list this year, but deciding with one was difficult! I saw her live at the Corner Hotel in August, and she was so incredible to watch. Don’t Let a Good Girl Down almost made the cut, and it is arguably my favourite, but Better In Blak is SUCH a smart song in terms of the writing and the message it sends, especially to young indigenous women in Australia. I love it, I love that everyone else loves it, and I want to see it hit the Top 10 this year. 

As for my hot picks on what will be number 1? I’m not quite sure. I believe that Dance Monkey deserves it, it’s been the biggest song of the year by a mile. That being said, I think we’re all kinda… over it now, meaning that less people will vote that way. It’ll be very interesting to see how this one plays out.

Send me your votes on social media, or hit me up at

Have a great week!


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